Benjamin Coy



How long should I practice?

December 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

The question music students ask most often is probably “How long should I practice?” We’d all like to hear some definitive figure, as in “If you practice six hours a day you’ll be successful, guaranteed,” but it’s clear such a clean answer does not exist. One answer could be “practice until you’re tired.” But, sometimes […]

Summer Priorities

June 13, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Summer’s a slow time for most musicians. For those associated with a school (either as a student or a teacher), classes are usually out for a couple months. A random lesson or special event here or there may happen, but the schedule is much lighter. Symphony orchestras are also on hiatus, and even ensembles with […]

Morning practice

June 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I once heard a potentially apocryphal story about a musician who was asked to play a morning concert. His response was “Ten o’clock? I don’t even throw up before noon!” Whether or not this episode occurred, there’s certainly some truth to it. Musicians do not work a traditional 9-5 schedule. When I was on tour, […]


June 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Tapering before a performance or audition gives you a bit more discretionary time. You get used to being able to see your family in the evenings or accomplish something lucrative during the day. A normal day’s schedule does not include an obsessive focus on the practice room, and other interests and priorities creep in. After […]